Art professor S. Portico Bowman does not believe in the starving artist mentality.  

“When students leave our program, they will know how to make a living with their art,” said Bowman.   

To back up that claim, Bowman teaches the Business of Art, a unique class that met last semester in The Foundry in the newly-opened Block22.  

“We’ve been able to utilize so many resources in the spirit of entrepreneurism,” Bowman said. “It’s been a true ‘By Doing, Learn’ class.”  

They connected with experts from the Block22-based Kansas Small Business Development Center to develop a draft business plan, learned about nearby boutique businesses like Sonder & Co and ArtForms, heard from grant writers, and developed a partnership with Mpix. 

Then, they opened a pop-up art gallery based on the theme of Glory Days: Bringing Pittsburg of the Past into Pittsburg of the Present, complete with a logo, point of sale system, and merchandise. They grossed $2,129.61, and their last field trip was to the post office to mail tax checks to the Kansas Department of Revenue. 

Kaitlynn Maslen, who graduated in December, said her goal is to one day earn a living entirely on her art sales and commissions, and the class provided a foundation. 

“I’ve never wanted to be anything other than an artist,” she said. 

“When students leave our program, they will know how to make a living with their art.” 

      – Art professor, S. Portico Bowman